Thursday, April 22, 2010

50 Words #35


“Will you sign my yearbook, Alec?” I held it out with one hand and crossed my fingers behind me on the other. This would be my last chance to ask. Graduation was tonight.

“Sure, Sweet Thing,” Alec said as he took my yearbook.

“I saved the back cover for you.”


  1. I like the basic premise, but the "Sweet Thing" threw me off. She can't possibly have a crush on a boy who calls her "sweet thing," can she?

  2. Definitely hooked. I felt this. I was back in high school. When Alec said sweet thing, I practically swooned. Good luck

  3. The crossed fingers made me think she's going to tell a lie. I'm kind of hooked. Want to find out what she's going to ask.

  4. I can completely relate to this from my high school days.

    "Sweet Thing" may have been over the top.

    It would be more of a hook if you changed it up in teh beginning. Personally, I'm not a fan of starting with dialogue.

    I held it out the book with one hand and crossed my fingers behind me with the other. This would be my last chance to ask because graduation was tonight. “Will you sign my yearbook, Alec?”

  5. I don't think you should start with dialogue either. I don't like the 'sweet thing' either, but maybe you could add a beat that could show us what he meant. Such as:

    "Sweet thing," he said with a fake southern drawl that always made me laugh when I heard him say it to his girlfriend (or whatever works here).

    Those two words irritated my friend sos and so whenever we heard him say it. He's such a phoney, she always said, but I loved it.

    Or maybe he's shy or withdrawn or flirty...anything like that.

  6. I already kind of dislike your protagonist for being a doormat flopping herself in front of a lout, but that's accurate for high school, so okay.

    What doesn't work for me is how her tension about whether he will sign her book is portrayed. The fingers crossed behind her back isn't convincing as an indicator of her hopes. I would have responded to the scene much better if you dove deeper into her point-of-view and let me viscerally witness her nervousness and (I assume) longing. I'm too outside of this character's head.

    If having Alec sign her book is so important to her, I think you need to focus on the emotions she feels that will convince the reader this scene has some stakes.

  7. I agree with most everyone else, but as I don't know how to approach the character, (shy, flirty, ect.), I can't really give you any suggestions. I'm hooked--and cringing at the last line. Again, I'm not sure what her relationship with Alec is, but I feel some sort of embarrassment coming along.

  8. She's crossing her fingers hoping he'll sign her yearbook, but she saved the back cover which a place of honor. Why would she save that if she didn't think he'd sign it? So, I'd read a few more paragraphs to see if the discrepancy is resolved.

  9. I would think she's holding out a pen with the other hand. Something to really show her nervousness and desparation. Interesting beginning. I'd give it a little more before deciding.

  10. Hooked. I think the word choices like 'sweet thing' and that she saved the whole last page for him tell a lot about the characters and the situation.

  11. Thanks everyone! You gave me some great advice. OMGoodness I can't believe I didn't think about then pen being in her other hand. It's been a long time since I've had anyone sign my yearbook. I realize I need to show her anticipation and excitement when she asks Alec to sign. Thanks again!